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By salmos, Palm Springs, FL

I'm eight years old, and I stand at the kitchen counter
with a gnawed apple in my hand,
the edges beginning to rot,
the hips of the core, a chamber
with brown tear drops that peek through.
My father tells me,
as though he's reading a storybook,
"If you go outside and plant it,
it'll grow into an apple tree
taller than our house."
I glance through the dust-caked Venetian blinds
to our backyard
and break the core in half,
shake the seeds into the grooves of my palm.

I'm eighteen years old, and I lean against
the damp wooden rail
of the Boynton Beach Inlet,
which ribbons through the dark ocean

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